Students working in any of our four student-led areas — College Heights Herald, Talisman, Student Publications Advertising and Cherry Creative — are eligible to apply for scholarships that are reserved for those working at WKU Student Publications.
Twelve endowments will issue scholarships in 2023-24. You can find a story on the 2022-23 recipients here.
Our scholarships range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per academic year, although our largest scholarships are typically divided among several students.
To be eligible for consideration for a scholarship, a student must be in good standing with WKU, and in good standing as a member of a Student Publications staff. The recipient must agree to work at Student Publications for the full term of the scholarship.
Our scholarships are housed in the College Heights Foundation, and the foundation determines the exact amount available for each scholarship based on a percentage of a rolling, three-year average value of the endowment that supports a given scholarship.
Students must fill out WKU’s TopDollar general scholarship application, but our scholarships are handled separately and require a separate application in addition to TopDollar. Our application period is in February and awards are announced at the Student Publications end-of-year celebration.
Awards are made by the Student Publications Scholarship Committee, which is composed of the professional staff.
Our scholarships and their current values are:
The Robert R. Adams Journalism Scholarship is named for retired director of WKU Student Publications, long-time College Heights Herald adviser and former Herald editor-in-chief (1964-65). Adams is a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and the WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni. The scholarship is designated for a student working on the College Heights Herald. Awarded based on scholarship, leadership, involvement, demonstration of aptitude and attitude and work in Student Publications. Financial need may be considered. 2023-24 value: $1,400.
The Bryan Leigh Armstrong Memorial Scholarship is named for the former College Heights Herald editor-in-chief (Spring 1979) who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and died in 2004. It is designated for a junior or senior journalism major with an interest in pursuing a journalism career and showing leadership, scholarship, character, aptitude and good attitude while serving on the Herald staff. 2023-24 value: $400.
The James D. Ausenbaugh Journalism Scholarship honors an exacting professor of journalism at WKU who also was a top editor for The Courier-Journal, and who died in 2017. It is designated for a student working on the Talisman or the College Heights Herald who is enrolled full time and can demonstrate knowledge, passion and appreciation for the English language. Financial need may be considered. 2023-24 value: $650.
The Donald E. Collins Scholarship is named for the former College Heights Herald sports editor who went on to become on the nation’s leading sports journalists, working for USA Today. He died in 2005. It is designated for a student working on the College Heights Herald who is enrolled full time. Awarded based upon scholarship, leadership, involvement and demonstrated aptitude and attitude. Financial need may be considered. 2023-24 value: $2,800.
The Michael P. Collins Memorial Scholarship honors the former College Heights Herald and Talisman photographer who graduated in 1984 and combined his love of photojournalism and flying in his job as director of business operations for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He died in 2021 during the global coronavirus pandemic. The scholarship, to be awarded for the first time in 2023-24, is for a student of any major working at WKU Student Publications who demonstrates a passion for journalism and for life, with a preference toward students pursuing visual journalism. 2023-24 value: $400.
The Judith Koch Ecker Memorial Scholarship honors the former editor of the College Heights Herald (1954-55) and faculty member who demanded journalistic excellence and supported student ownership of the Herald during Western’s transition from college to university status. She developed writing and photography courses that laid the foundation for WKU’s national prominence in journalism and photojournalism. The scholarship is available to any student participating at WKU Student Publications. 2023-24 value: $500.
The Miss Frances Richards Journalism Scholarship honors the College Heights Herald’s founding editor (1925) and longtime faculty adviser, who died in 1991. It is designated for journalism, advertising or photojournalism majors. Awarded based upon scholarship, leadership, involvement and demonstrated aptitude and attitude and work in Student Publications. 2023-24 value: $1,800.
The Paul and Ellen Schuhmann Student Publications Scholarship was created by Paul Schuhmann in 2012 to honor his wife, Ellen, who died in 2010. The couple met as students working at WKU Student Publications and went on to successful careers, with Paul winning the Pultizer Prize at The Courier-Journal and Ellen running a public relations firm. The scholarship is for journalism or photojournalism majors who work on the College Heights Herald or the Talisman and who are juniors or seniors with a grade-point average of at least 2.8. Awarded based upon scholarship, leadership, involvement and demonstrated aptitude and attitude. Recipients must agree to continue working for Student Publications for one year after selection. 2023-24 value: $6,000.
The Lowell L. and Opal F. Valentine Scholarship honors the couple who once owned The Franklin Favorite, a weekly newspaper in Simpson County, where the College Heights Herald was printed for many years. The scholarship is designated for to a student working on the College Heights Herald who is enrolled full time and demonstrates personal qualities of character, integrity, dependability, industriousness, human compassion and leadership. 2023-24 value: $1,400.
The Elliott Wells Memorial Scholarship in Sports Journalism is in memory of the former College Heights Herald sports reporter who died unexpectedly in his sleep in December 2020, in the middle of his senior year at WKU. The scholarship, new for 2021-22, is for a student of any major who has a demonstrated interest in sports journalism in any format. Awarded based on scholarship, leadership, involvement and demonstrated interest in sports journalism and Student Publications. 2023-24 value: $400.
The David B. Whitaker Scholarship honors the journalist credited for professionalizing and setting the foundation for the national prominence of the WKU journalism program and for its student-run publications. Whitaker, a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and the WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni, died in 2005. The scholarship is for a junior or senior advertising, journalism or photojournalism major. Awarded based upon scholarship, leadership, involvement and demonstrated aptitude and attitude and work in Student Publications. 2023-24 value: $1,200.
The Red O’Donnell Award memorializes the popular former sports journalist and columnist for The Tennessean and the Nashville Banner, who died in 1984. The award and scholarship goes to the outstanding student at WKU Student Publications who is returning for the following academic year. The award is selected by the professional staff. There is no application. 2023-24 value: $500.